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Invengo Launches Production of NFC Tags

The Chinese RFID company's first pair of Near Field Communication products signals its plans to diversify its portfolio to meet market demand for NFC tags for posters, payments and gaming cards.
By Claire Swedberg
Mar 22, 2013

RFID technology manufacturer Invengo Technology Corp. is foraying into the Near Field Communication (NFC) market. The company has begun production of two new NFC passive tags—known as the NLoop and NTouch—that will diversify its product portfolio and enable the firm to establish itself in a market that its executive VP of the Americas and Europe, Joe Gomillion, calls very promising. The company indicates that it is releasing the new tags following demand from customers that produce NFC-enabled smart posters, wristbands and gaming cards, and that it plans to begin shipping the tags next month.

Invengo, a Chinese company launched to provide passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags and readers that China Railway could use to identify its freight cars, has now become a major player in RFID tag sales within North and South America, as well as in Asia. "We've had a good year," says Gomillion, who joined the company in March 2012 after serving as the U.S. sales manager for UPM RFID (now owned by Smartrac) in Asheville, N.C. During the past 12 months, he says, sales have increased by 100 percent, with hundreds of millions of tags—mostly in the retail and apparel sector—sold in the Americas and Asia. The company's stock (publicly traded on the Chinese market) was up by 30 percent during the first quarter of 2013, he adds. Last year, Invengo opened a second manufacturing plant (the first one is located in China) in North Carolina, thereby ensuring that tags can be manufactured and delivered efficiently to customers in North and South America (see RFID News Roundup: Invengo Raises $108 Million in Private-Placement Stock Offering). The firm is now looking into extending its reach to Europe as well, by seeking partners on that continent, in addition to considering opening office space there.

Invengo's NLoop (left) and NTouch RFID labels

In the meantime, Gomillion says, the NFC market is maturing and Invengo's own customers have been requesting NFC tags. Therefore, the company is releasing the first two products of what it expects to become a portfolio of NFC tags for use by customers. According to Gomillion, the tags are intended to appeal to users equipped with NFC-enabled phones or tablets, in order to capture or share data with others, or to make e-payments.

The NLoop and NTouch adhesive labels are made with an NXP Semiconductors NTAG203 chip containing 164 bytes of memory and complying with the ISO 14443A standard. The round NLoop label comes with a coiled antenna measuring 23 millimeters (0.905 inch) in diameter, while the NTouch version is rectangular, with a coiled antenna measuring 32 millimeters by 15 millimeters (1.29 inches by 0.59 inch). Both the NLoop and the NTouch are provided on rolls of 2,500 labels. Invengo expects the NFC labels to be used not only for smart posters and contactless-payment purposes, but also for gaming and a wide variety of smartphone applications.

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